30 in 30 - Day 2: Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 11: One Girl in All the World / by Frank Gogol

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After tackling the excellent Buffy Season 11 vol. 1 yesterday, I finished off the series with Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 11 vol. 2 - One Girl in All the World today.

As has been the case with Buffy books over the last few years, Gage and Issacs knock it out of the park. Gage ramps up the stakes masterfully and Issacs' images bleed emotion and character in both content and form. 

Synopsis

30 in 30 - Day 2: Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 11: One Girl in All the World
Storytellers: Christos Gage & Rebekah Issacs
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Year of Publication: 2017
Page Count: 160

As residents, it didn't take long for Buffy, Willow, and Spike to find that there was something more behind the internment of the magical population in the government's "Safe Zone" in the Grand Canyon. So when release becomes possible, Buffy and Willow grasp the opportunity despite the incredible risks they will be taking: relinquishing their magic and becoming "normal" humans, and . . . leaving Spike behind. The pair reunites with Dawn, Xander, Riley and Sam Finn, and the Slayer Faith. When Buffy reveals to the crew that the true purpose of the camp is to bring about the elimination of all supernatural powers worldwide, the Scoobies begin their mission. They will manufacture a great escape from the camp and follow the obscure trail of the Big Bad to its end. Extraordinarily, the trail seems to lead higher and higher in the ranks of the US government... 

SPOILERS FOR BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER – SEASON 11 BELOW

What I learned about Comic Book Storytelling in Writing

This volume acts as the second half of the larger story being told in Buffy Season 11, and as such, it ramps up the…stakes. In all seriousness, Gage masterfully scales the danger and the stakes up in this arc, especially in the final three issues. There’s a great bait-and-switch (if such a thing exists) regarding the Big Bad for the season, and the storm dragon from issue #1 comes back into play. The final showdown is split into two fronts and then dovetails back together as an even larger threat right at the end.

Gage paces the finale gracefully while keeping it interesting and giving Issacs plenty of great stuff to draw. It never feels like chess pieces being moved around, either. The action and scale are all inherently linked to the Big Bad’s motivations and the character arcs of the season.

What I learned about Comic Book Storytelling in Art

In the second issue of this arc, Buffy, now depowered (and rightfully frustrated) fights a much larger and strong man. Though she takes her fair share of punches, she fights smart and turns the fight in her favor. There comes a point when the fight is over, but Buffy, frustrated, continues to wail on the guy. Issacs’ art on this page starts as a tier with three panels of Buffy knocking the guy around. Then, the art dissolves into a second-tier close-up shot of Buffy punching. Issacs draws the final panel’s boarder as a jagged line cutting across the page that, rather than a sound effect, suggests a crunching noise.

Issacs captures Buffy’s frustrations in her facial expressions, of course. But the design of the page layers the frustration on with nuance and suggestion.

Recommendation: B (Entertaining, worth a read)

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